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It's obviously been too long since you've laughed...

It's obviously been too long since you've laughed hysterically, holding your side, snorting, crying and trying not to pee your pants (Oops! Was that last one T.M.I.? Sorry!).

I recently had one of those insane giggle fests with my kids (minus the almost peeing part) due to a Mad Lib. I felt downright inspired by the bonding and creativity that flowed as a result, so here we go!

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Let's first start by acknowledging the obvious, shall we? If your kids are still learning what is a noun, verb, adverb and adjective or the difference between a singular and plural, then filling in the blanks of these simple stories is great for that. However that's only the beginning.

The art of a really funny mad lib lies in unique detailed answers. If it says, "Body part," I don't answer, "Arm," or, "Head." No, I have to say, "Eyelash," or, "Knuckle," or my recent favorite, "Nostril." If you need an adjective or adverb, skip over basic and boring words like, "Big," or, "Fast." Go for the jugular! "Enormous! Prickly! Sloppily!" This is a great opportunity to teach kids how to bust out a thesaurus (or power up the IPad and find one on line) and challenge them to find a more descriptive version of the word they initially come up with. This is a great skill to develop for when they start working on their own stories, whether at home or at school.

An added rule for our family is that if the word chosen is too appropriate (It makes perfect sense = boring!) the person writing everything down is allowed to tell the word picker to choose again. Example: "The karate boy ," is appropriate and boring. "The karate curtain ," is funny!

So here's a great example of how a good Mad Lib can inspire. My son, Ellis, broke out his Ninjas Mad Libs last night. I really strained my brain to create something memorable and I wasn't disappointed.

The first one that got me giggling was a help wanted ad for ninjas:

"Are you fast and prickly on your feet? Can you swing a double-edged puzzle and throw deadly, spiked backpacks at moving targets with total precision? Most importantly, can you take down a wrinkled enemy using only your nostril ? If so, then you could be a ninja!"

I was trying to read it out loud (emphasis on trying), but when I got to, "Nostril," I just couldn't even say it out loud because I'm a visual thinker, people. If I'm saying it, if I'm hearing it, I'm imagining what it looks like and that's just stinking hilarious .

Of course that birthed a whole discussion about superheros with gigantic noses and how a nostril could be a weapon. There's the seed for a good graphic novel in there somewhere, I'm telling you. The nine year old boy, of course, starts jumping around, trying to act out a full-on ninja nostril attack- complete with sound effects. I actually thought of a superhero who had super breath that creates windstorms. Superman used to do it with his mouth, why not a nose, right? The evil villain could give the good guy a cold and then what? "Oh no! Nostril man is congested! get the decongestant super spray!"

Tee-hee-hee. Ahem So another way you can get some meaningful interaction from a Mad Lib is to take an especially funny quote (Like said, "Nostril") and ask kids who are learning to read their bibles to look up places where that word or phrase is used and see what they find. If you look up nostril it's actually really interesting. There are quite a few places where nostrils are mentioned.

"Join our covert team of gooey martial arts experts as we patrol Tahiti to keep it safe from trouble making blankets . Although previous experience is not required, candidates who can bite without making a sound are preferred. And those skilled in the ancient art of kung-fu flopping will be given top consideration. Ninja gear-including the traditional magenta hooded robe that hides everything but your fingernails -is provided. Starting salary is 6,543,210 ants a week. If you can squish in the face of danger, then the sleepy job of a ninja could be right for you! Sewing today for an application!"

Okay, so the trouble making blankets got to me next, they would be a fun bad guy for a baby super-hero.

Then we got to kung-fu flopping and I just lost it again. I've never heard of anything so wrong that sounds so right. Have you? I mean it just sounds good coming out of your mouth. Try saying it out loud. Right where you are. Go ahead, I'll wait. "Kung-fu flopping!" That's genius right there, is what that is!

So then the imaginations kicked in again. I instantly imagined a ninja wielding a deadly weapon that looks like nun-chucks, but has one flip flop at each end instead of those hard wooden sticks. Ellis imagined a ninja flopping himself around in a new kung-fu style that might be eerily similar to drunken kung-fu (See below-This is an actual style of kung-fu with very sloppy floppy looking movements designed to confuse your enemy).

Next, I imagined that scene from the Avengers movie where the Hulk grabs Loki by the feet and bangs his entire body back and forth on the ground, flopping Loki from side to side. The Hulk looks at the wasted Loki and snarls, "Puny God!" (Apparently Hulk is a theologianA big, green, angry theologian). I personally feel we should all take this approach to spiritual warfare. You may think I'm kidding here, but miraculously, I'm serious. I've heard it said to not pray as if you're storming the castle, pray as if you're defending your castle. When the devil tries to throw lies at us through our thoughts and through the words of others, just pretend you're the hulk and tell that devil that he's a, "Puny god," (lowercase g.) Then for good measure, snarl.

Whew! Well this has been my most fun blog entry for sure! I can't even get into the second Mad Lib we did. Sorry, I don't have time for, " Fluffy swords," and, "Exploding frogs !"

Posted in Home Post Date 03/02/2017


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